Holiday road safety measures set

PHUKET: Nine major road checkpoints and 18 smaller “mobile units” will be in operation around Phuket from December 30 to January 5, 2009.

The checkpoints form the final phase of a three-pronged effort to combat road accidents over the holiday period.

This year’s strategy, coordinated by the Phuket office of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), started with a first phase that ran from December 1 to 15.

Phuket DDPM director Chotenarin Kerdsom said the initial phase focused on getting all relevant departments, including police and emergency medical service (EMS) workers, up-to-speed and ready to implement new safety measures during the holidays.

The second period, in effect until December 29, will be used to raise public awareness and educate tourists and locals about the measures being enforced.

On December 23 a mobile campaign to promote crash helmet use will begin.

Starting six days later, on December 29, anyone caught riding without a crash helmet will be required to attend compulsory road safety training classes.

Emergency medical services will be on high-alert throughout the period and can be contacted by dialing 1669.

The Phuket DDPM aims to have ambulances and other EMS units at any accident site within 15 minutes of notification, Mr Chotenarin said.

In addition to informing the public of the project and the installation of the checkpoints, the road safety campaign is being underpinned by strict enforcement of alcohol sales laws.

At least four major oil companies – PTT, Bangchak Petroleum, Petronas and Chevron – have agreed to fully enforce a ban on alcohol sales at their service station during the period, the Thai Health Promotion Foundation has announced.

The nine major checkpoints will be located in many of the same areas as in past years, though these remain subject to change without notice in order to increase the likelihood of catching violators:

Muang District

Thepkrasattri Rd, in front of the Muang Mai Volvo dealership;

Wichit-Songkraam Rd, in front of Surakul Stadium;

Jao Fa West Rd, near Chaofa Thani Residential Estate.

Thalang District

Thepkrasattri Rd, in front of Thalang Police Station;

Srisoonthorn Rd, near the Cherng Talay Police Station;

Tah Chat Chai checkpoint in Mai Khao.

Kathu District

Phra Barami Rd, Tung Tong Police checkpoint near the Caltex station;

Phra Barami Rd, the three-way intersection with Pisit Gorani Rd, at the bottom of Patong Hill;

Patong-Kamala Rd, near Phuket Fantasea in Kamala.

Some details regarding the locations of the additional 18 minor checkpoints will be released on December 25.

Phuket News

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